Kjeldsen Hangs On for Victory

By Sports NetworkJune 22, 2003, 4:00 pm
PERTHSHIRE, Scotland -- Soren Kjeldsen only needed an even-par round of 72 on Sunday to earn his first title on the European Tour at the Diageo Championship at Gleneagles. He finished with a four-day total of 9-under-par 279 and posted a two-shot win over Alastair Forsyth.
 
'The year has been good so far and with this tournament now, it's been a fantastic year,' said Kjeldsen. 'I can't ask for anything more. I hung in there and it was fantastic.'
 
Kjeldsen joined Thomas Bjorn, Anders Hansen, Soren Hansen and Steen Tinning as the only Danes to win on the European Tour. Kjeldsen also became the 11th different first-time winner on the European Tour in 2003.
 
Paul Broadhurst shot a final-round 70 and finished alone in third place at 6-under-par 282. Colin Montgomerie carded his second round of 69 in as many days and took fourth place at minus-5.
 
Kjeldsen opened Sunday's round with a five-shot advantage but struggled out of the gate in round four. He missed a six-foot par save at the first hole but rebounded with a five-footer for birdie at two. Kjeldsen dropped another shot at the third but still maintained a huge margin over the remainder of the field.
 
At the par-4 eighth, Kjeldsen drove into the right rough then missed the green short with his second shot. He bogeyed the hole and when Forsyth drained an 18-foot birdie putt at No. 9, his second in a row, Kjeldsen's lead was down to two shots.
 
Kjeldsen birdied the 11th to go ahead by three but Forsyth knocked his second to the fringe at the par-5 12th and two-putted for birdie to get within two. Kjeldsen had less than three feet at the same hole but his birdie putt hit the back of the cup and lipped out.
 
At the par-3 14th, Kjeldsen played his tee ball 30 feet from the hole but sank the putt. Forsyth missed his birdie try and once again Kjeldsen's lead was three.
 
Kjeldsen drove into a right fairway bunker at the 15th and laid up short of the green. He wedged his approach to three feet and saved par but Forsyth was not as fortunate. Forsyth missed the putting surface short and chunked a chip that left him close to 20 feet for par. His par opportunity fell short of the cup and now Kjeldsen had a four-stroke edge with three holes to play.
 
'The birdie on 14 and the up-and-down on 15 were absolutely a turning point,' said Kjeldsen. 'When I was on the 10th tee, I figured out that if I could come back in 34, they would have to shoot four-under on the back nine to beat me which was pretty tough with the pressure and the finish of the tournament and that is the way it turned out.'
 
Kjeldsen played conservatively on the final three holes. At 16, he hit his second into a greenside bunker and blasted out to 10 feet. He missed the birdie try but tapped in for par.
 
At the final two holes, Kjeldsen played to the center of the greens and two- putted for his pars and victory No. 1.
 
'It was a hard day but it is a fantastic feeling to sit here with this trophy,' said Kjeldsen. 'I felt before this that I had to get more into contention and I felt that the other Danes who had won were more in contention than I was in tournaments so I felt I had to be there or thereabouts on Sundays.'
 
Forsyth birdied 16 and 18 to polish off his round of 3-under 69.
 
'All in all I can't complain,' said Forsyth. 'Tee to green I played really well and it was nice to hole the birdie putt on the last to get second place. I was watching the leaderboard coming down the last few holes and I knew Paul had finished on 6-under par so it was a great feeling to hole that in front of all those people around the 18th green.'
 
Rolf Muntz (70), Stephen Gallacher (71) and Miguel Angel Martin (71) shared fifth place at 3-under-par 285. Adam Scott, the 2002 champion, shot a 1-over 73 and tied for eighth place with John Bickerton, who carded a 2-under 70 on Sunday. The duo finished at minus-2.
 

Related Links:
  • Full-field scores from the Diageo Championship at Gleneagles
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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

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    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


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    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

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    Mickelson starts fast, fades to 70 at La Quinta

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:07 pm

    Phil Mickelson got off to a fast start in his first competitive round of 2018 - for six holes, at least.

    The 47-year-old is making his first start since the WGC-HSBC Champions this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, and only his third competitive appearance since the BMW Championship in September. Four birdies over his first six holes indicated that a strong opener might be in the cards, but Mickelson played his subsequent holes in 2 over.

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    Mickelson stunted his momentum with a tee shot out of bounds on the par-4 eighth hole, but he managed to save bogey and otherwise drove the ball relatively well. Instead, he pointed to his normally reliable iron play as the culprit for his back-nine backslide on a day when more than 120 players in the 156-man field broke par.

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    Rahm (62) shoots career low round at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 10:33 pm

    After a banner year in 2017, Jon Rahm found a way to add yet another accolade to his growing list of accomplishments during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Rahm got off to a fast start at La Quinta Country Club, playing his first seven holes in 6 under en route to a 10-under 62. The score marked his career low on the PGA Tour by two shots and gave him an early lead in an event that utilizes a three-course rotation.

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    Rahm birdied his first two holes before an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole sparked him to an outward 30. He added four more birdies on the inward half without dropping a shot.

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